Prepping is a concept that has grown popular in recent years, even making it to mainstream television with shows like “Doomsday Preppers”, “Survivorman” and others. These illustrate the various preparations people undertake for a myriad of potentially cataclysmic scenarios, ranging from economic collapse to natural disasters to pandemics or terrorist events. While some of these narratives might seem unduly apocalyptic, such as alien invasions or asteroid impacts, recent world events have placed a far more sobering light on such endeavors.

In the course of several weeks, life went from normal to surreal, and no one saw it coming. Well, maybe most didn’t. But certainly the folks who prepped for a variety of calamitous events might feel validated. COVID-19 went from a blurb on the news to a world-wide pandemic in a very short period of time, virtually shutting down the United States as well as the rest of the world.

Within days, stores across the nation were devoid of cleaning and disinfecting supplies, toilet paper and other basic necessities. We have personally seen the empty aisles in our grocery stores – pasta products, soups, cereals, frozen foods, and the list goes on. How could the land of plenty suddenly be in such a place?

Economic upheaval, sudden unemployment, stock market volatility, disruption of the supply chain, social distancing, and dismal projections on how bad this could actually get have produced the perfect storm. This invisible enemy has proven virulent and ruthless as the people of this great country hunker down for the fight ahead.

Realistic Prepping

How much is too much? What is reasonable and effective?

People who were not prepared in any way suddenly found themselves with only a few days or weeks worth of provisions, medications and other necessary commodities. Hence the empty aisles in the stores resulting from panic buying. Hence the need to venture out to gather supplies, at a time when doing so elevates the risk of contracting or spreading the contagion. “If only I had prepared a bit better…” is the thought that must have crossed many people’s mind.

It is not our intent to create a directory of what supplies you should have, nor their quantities. We aren’t in the business of building underground bunkers or creating the blueprints to survive Armageddon. But we do advocate a common sense approach to being prepared for the unknown.

Take stock of your needs, and multiply them in a way that allows you and your family the weather such unprecedented events as we are experiencing right now.

Some things to consider:

Non-perishable foods. There are many foods with extreme shelf lives when properly stored. Pasta, rice, sugar, salt are honey are among the most hardy. Some camping meals, such as those produced by Mountain House, have expiration dates of up to 35 years.

Medications and first aid.
Always be sure to have enough everyday medications available – stomach remedies, cold meds, pain relievers and the like. Keep prescriptions up to date and refill them in a timely manner.

Cleaning supplies.
Having a good amount of soap and other cleaning agents such as bleach on hand is a wise precaution. As we have seen with this COVID pandemic, washing your hands is a major factor in mitigating the spread of the virus.

It is difficult to stockpile water in large quantities, but it is wise to have means of water purification should that become necessary. High quality water filters, water purification tablets and the ability to boil water are vital.

Firearms and ammunition. In the worst case scenario, you need to have the means to defend yourself and your family. Disintegration of law and order are plausible during and after a variety of disasters.

Precious metals.
With the financial uncertainly resulting from far-reaching business closures, precipitous unemployment and massive government stimulus actions to resuscitate the economy, having gold and silver in your physical possession cannot be understated in such troubling times.

As always, stay safe – stay smart. And be sure to wash your hands!

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